Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Musings: God Help the Outcasts

Last week I was invited to attend a "Poverty Simulation"  in Provo.  I wasn't sure what to expect...but it was a very interesting experience.

I arrived and they gave me a name tag and a packet of information.  I was a 13 year old girl named Patricia.  I had a twin sister, and an older brother.  My mother had left the family and dad was in jail.  For one hour we had to pretend we were this family basically trying to survive.  The simulation consisted of a "town" where we went to school, the store, the bank, etc.

The point of the experience, well partly, is to make you feel stressed.  And I did.  On a different level because I knew it wasn't real, yet people experience this stress everyday.  Two of the observations I made that were this.

1) Things are a big deal when  you are in poverty.  For example, the first day I went to "school"  I was given a note to take home asking me to bring $4 for a party.  Four dollars.  I was thinking we don't have four dollars.  Now my kids bring notes like that all the time.  My biggest deal is " I don't have the cash."  We have the money though and it's not a big deal.  Four dollars is a big deal when your dealing with survival.

2)  The director of the simulation said we were experiencing the 'top' of the poverty scale.  Top of the poverty scale?  Yet I know what he meant.  I work at the Food and Care Coalition which helps the homeless.  The family I represented at least had a house and a car.  Some of the people I work with do not have either.  Some have health problems.  Some are wounded veterans.  Some have mental illness.    Yet they are dealing with the stress of surviving everyday along with or perhaps because of their trials.

My observation, hopefully, is one of love wtih more understanding  for all God's children.